There are few virtues a man can possess more erotic than culinary skill.
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses
by Isabel Allende

Starting in November of 2009 Michelle at the Big Black Dog formed a group to bake its way through Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg. I loved Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, so I signed up with the group. Michelle first had us do a couple of warm-up assignments, which were my first attempt at blogging. The first "Official" post was on January 15, 2010, and it was followed by 41 more, on the 1st and 15th of each month. When I signed on I said I would bake the whole book, and like Horton (the elephant) I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I finished baking the book on October 1, 2011. Having completed that challenge, now I am just going to do some stuff, and post about it. As part of that stuff Michelle is posing a new, and different, challenge for us each month.

I am still baking bread, mostly the Five Minutes a Day kind, and if you would like to try the Five Minutes a Day bread method there are some links, with recipes, in the right hand column to get you started. Please give it a try.

But first, a word from my sponsor . . .
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This day be bread and peace my lot.
Alexander Pope

How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?

Julia Child

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.
Yiddish proverb
(And some are only half baked.)

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw, via Sharon

Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt.
George Herbert

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Maple Oatmeal Bread and Quinoa Bread (17 of 42)

Tip du jour:  If you have too many cookbooks, or at least too many to keep track of, you may want to check out Eat Your Books.  You can enter your cookbooks and it will let you search them for ingredients and provide you with a list of recipes (but not the recipes themselves) in the books you own.  It is a search engine for your personal cookbook collection.  Both 5 Minute Bread books are available and indexed.  There is a 30 day free trial, so you might want to play around with this.

Do you ever get really excited to see a movie, have high expectations for it, can't wait for it to come out, and then feel slightly disappointed after you have seen it.  That is the way I felt about the Maple Oatmeal Bread.   I thought I would really, really like this, so I made a full batch instead of a half.

I made a loaf

and I made English Muffins. 

The bread baked up fine, my saintly wife liked it, but there was just something about the flavor profile that I did not care for.  Perhaps I expected it to be sweeter or maybe it had to do with the buttermilk.   Anyway, it just did not live up to my expectations. But now I know.

On a related oatmeal bread note, we love oatmeal made with steel cut oats.  I do it in the rice cooker.  Some time ago I adapted a no-knead steel cut oat bread recipe to the AB in 5 format:

5 Minute Steel Cut Oats No Knead Bread
Makes 2 1-pound loaves, keeps 14 days
1/2 cup whole wheat flour         65g
1/2 cup steel cut oats                 80g
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour         315g
1 1/2 cups water                            338g
3/4 TBS instant yeast                         
  2 tsp salt                                                

Follow usual AB in 5 protocol--form and let rise 40 minutes, slash top, bake at
450 for 30 minutes using water for steam. 

The next loaf was Quinoa bread.  According to Wikipedia Quinoa is  "a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium)" that is "a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds."  It is not a true cereal or grain "as it is not a member of the grass family." It is "closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds."   The article notes that "Quinoa originated in the Andean region of South America, where it has been an important food for 6,000 years. Its name is the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name.  The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or mother of all grains, and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using 'golden implements.'" For our purposes--healthy baking--"[u]nlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), and like oats, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights."

Gee, how could we ever eat anything else.  

I formed the dough into a boule, and put it into my Duct Tape Couche to rise. Then I baked it in my flame orange pot. 

It came out right purty.

With a nice crumb.

My saintly wife and I both liked this bread a lot.

Since Quinoa is from the Andes I decided to run with the"indigenous to the Americas" theme, and to go with our Quinoa Bread I made a Chili Verde with tomatillos (from Becca's and Marissa's garden), poblano peppers (from my garden) and turkey (from the freezer).

With some of the dough I had left I made flatbreads on the grill to hold some chicken sausages.

They worked and tasted great, especially with some Ben's Sweet and Hot Mustard.   

I used the rest of the dough to make a pizza.

Tha-tha-tha-that's all folks.  Tune in next time and be sure to check out what everyone else did with these breads at Big Black Dog.


  1. WOW Guff, you're Quinoa boule came out just PERFECT! You are getting too good with the bread making!!!

    I still have to get some of Ben's Sweet and Hot Mustard!

    I just loved the Quinoa Bread and plan on using the grains in more bread in the future. Thanks for the Quinoa info. I had no idea it had so much history!

  2. Love what you do each braid, I am finding it so much fun seeing all the different adaptions, your Boule is marvellous. I love this bread, never heard of Quinoa before reading the recipe. It just makes you feel good eating it :)

  3. Your quinoa bread is really quite amazing. I love quinoa as a grain in salads, but this is taking it to a new level. This bread is going on my list to make, your use of it is wonderful.

  4. love how you cooked the quinoa bread. i love this bread!! bummer that you were disappointed in the maple oatmeal bread. I'm just making mine now.

  5. I agree about the maple oatmeal bread. It was a little bland, although I just had some with toast and it was pretty good. Nice boule. I like quinoa and use it alot. Thanks for the bread recipe. I love my rice cooker and now will try steel cut oats in it. Great post.

  6. Elwood,
    For my rice cooker I put 1 1/4 cup steel cut oats and 3 cups of water in the night before to soak, then cook it on the porridge cycle. I often throw in some dates or craisins before I plug it in.

  7. Thanks, on my list of things to try.

  8. Genius couche! Clever, clever...

  9. Your posts really make me laugh. I enjoy them very much. You must be getting pretty good if you can formulate your own recipes based on this method. I used to sit and stare, trying to think about how to do it, and then just moved on to Peter Reinhart! I'll give your bread recipe a try.

  10. Your boule looks like it came from a professional bakery!! Very purty indeed. Good idea to make flatbreads. Do you think that'd work for open-faced tuna melts? I've never had steel cut oats before. I'll try your bread recipe. Thank you! Alton Brown does steel cut oats in the slow cooker overnight. I might try.

  11. My goodness! I love your duct tape couche. What a great idea! I haven't baked the Quinoa Bread yet but I plan to. I think I'll try it as a boule myself. Thanks for the ideas. Love your blog!